Kansas to Host Western Illinois in Men's Basketball
Dec. 2, 2005
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Kansas plays its second straight home game by hosting Western Illinois. The Jayhawks are 2-3 after their 72-70 loss to No. 20 Nevada Thursday. Western Illinois is currently 2-2 on the season and snapped a two-game losing skid with a 76-68 win versus Eastern Illinois last Tuesday. The Leathernecks are a member of the Mid-Continent Conference and went 11-17 in 2004-05.
Kansas is currently 2-3 and has lost two games to ranked foes – Arizona and Nevada. Two of KU’s three losses have been by two points or less. The Jayhawks have nine players who are averaging 13 minutes or more per game. Sophomore center Sasha Kaun leads KU with 15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Brandon Rush is next at 15 points per contest and leads the team in field goal percentage at 58.8 percent and three-point field goal percentage at 50 percent. Senior guard Jeff Hawkins paces KU in assists at 4.6 per game while freshman Mario Chalmers leads the team in steals with 11. Kansas has outrebounded four of five opponents this season and leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense holding opponents to 35.8 percent.
About Western Illinois
Western Illinois is 2-2 after its 76-68 win against Eastern Illinois last Tuesday. Through four games WIU is averaging 83.5 points per game and yielding 76.9. Western Illinois is led by sophomore guard David Jackson who is averaging 20.5 points per game. He is making 58.8 percent of his three-point attempts and leads the team with six steals through four games. Senior forward Fred Oguns is next in scoring at 11.5 points per game and he leads WIU with four rebounds per contest. Junior guard Sammy Hunter paces the Leathernecks in assists at 3.8 per outing. As a team Western Illinois averages 8.8 three-point field goals per game and 20.8 three-point attempts. The Leathernecks are making 42.2 percent from beyond the arc.
The Kansas-Western Illinois Series
Kansas is meeting Western Illinois for the first time in men’s basketball. The Leathernecks are the second team KU will have faced for the first time this season – Idaho State on Nov. 18. KU will also play Northern Colorado on Dec. 22 for the first time in men’s hoops. Kansas holds a 12-3 series advantage against teams from the Mid-Continent Conference.
Kansas will play Saint Joseph’s in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 6. That game will tip at 6 p.m. (CST) and will air on ESPN. The Jayhawks will then play California in Kemper Arena on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. on ESPN before returning to Allen Fieldhouse Monday, Dec. 19 against Pepperdine for a 6:30 p.m. tip on ESPN2. KU closes out the year playing host to Northern Colorado Dec. 22 and New Orleans Dec. 29.